As a national effort to institute school reform, program must be judged a failure. Why this failure occurred is a difficult question to answer. There are four possible explanations: they involve Jesse Jackson's personality and style of leadership; intransigence of the public schools toward change; interference and mismanagement by the federal government; and recalcitrant racism. First, Jackson is an extremely charismatic, volatile, and controversial leader; his worst enemies call him an opportunist. The second explanation for the failure is that the school officials were simply not receptive to change, and this intransigence was hardly limited to their attitude toward PUSH/Excel. The third explanation for failure involves the interference of the federal government, which initially was unsolicited. The fourth possible explanation for the failure of PUSH/Excel is that of overt and covert racism. Jackson's controversial personality was the favorite explanation for failure of PUSH/Excel cited by federal bureaucrats in Washington. School politics were also critical to the failure of the program.